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Old 04-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #21
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My Rumrunner has a full set of seatbelts, everyone belts up when we roll down the road. I inspected the welds on the sqtube walls and roof, and My cab was weled direcly to the box. everything was built as one, no way for the box to rip away from the frame.

Nothing will bring back these family members, no consoling that young man will ever calm the hurt in his heart.

As much as it pains me to ask for more regulation, if anything good comes out of this, is.. a RV license like a sport pilot license. It would be required that you drive, back and show that you can inspect your rig prior to travel. It would also allow for recreational hobby enterprise such as motor racing and horse shows that pay cash prizes. Full time race drivers like NASCAR Transports and anyone getting paid to drive the truck, would be considered a commercial driver, and the truck would be required a separate set of rules. If it was found during an accident that the driver was a professional and the DOT rules were not followed he should be prosecuted. But those rules are too onerous for the weekend warrior racer , Horse-showman Rodeo Cowboy or Carshow participant.

Id really like to see Racing Junk and the major Conversion truck companies sponsor a forum such as this, for the end users of their products. It would be great to have a professionally designed site with safety, state laws etc. for everyone involved to learn from.

My Prayers for the young driver and his family.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:51 PM   #22
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As much as it pains me to ask for more regulation, if anything good comes out of this, is.. a RV license like a sport pilot license. It would be required that you drive, back and show that you can inspect your rig prior to travel. It would also allow for recreational hobby enterprise such as motor racing and horse shows that pay cash prizes. Full time race drivers like NASCAR Transports and anyone getting paid to drive the truck, would be considered a commercial driver, and the truck would be required a separate set of rules. If it was found during an accident that the driver was a professional and the DOT rules were not followed he should be prosecuted. But those rules are too onerous for the weekend warrior racer , Horse-showman Rodeo Cowboy or Carshow participant.
I would support this. If the Truck/RV and Trailer are individually or together over certain weights, then a restricted CDL is required with special written and a driver's test. My friend Charlie put hundreds of thousands of miles on his Prevost, all without a CDL. But he had been in the construction business, owned and driven dump trucks, but ... nothing as big as the Prevost.

I've considered going and getting a CDL when I get a rig that big.

There is nothing wrong with voluntarily adherring to certain rules ... but of course most owner/drivers won't do that.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #23
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If this was a homemade coach, it just might make getting a homemade coach harder to register ... especially in Kansas or Minnesota. If this coach was built by an established converter using an FRP technique with minimal steel structure that contributed to the destruction of the coach and the deaths ... this could be the end of that construction technique.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:51 PM   #24
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I'm sure it will put the kibosh to any legal riding in a trailer if it is even legal in any state. I'm sure this will be a very key accident in the short history of this new industry.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:20 PM   #25
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Its only recently that some of the standard RV coach builders have started using metal framing within their walls, most of the RV's out there are still 2x2's and paneling or the FRP composite construction. The FRP walls are extremely rigid and resist racking end to end) but from what I have seen no one has figuring out how to anchor the individual components together. If proper strapping was used to tie the walls to the floor and to ea other at the ends it would make for a pretty strong box. How ever as soon as one end or a side comes loose the whole enchilada will fold sideways like a cardboard box with no ends. As it is when you see one of these vehicles in a wreck the walls are in one piece just no longer attached to the floor. A welded frame like Blizz's Rumrunner provides that 100% connection from wall to wall and to the floor. The biggest reason that the major manufactures do not all do it this way is time. When they can install the coaches cabinets and interior onto the floor first, and then bring in the walls already finished, many hours ($$$) are saved. working from the inside out allows for more manpower to be on the coach at one time, while a second crew assembles wall panels on a jig. I am sure that some type of anchors could be embedded into the wall panels to allow for a more secure connection, but again that would cost more money, and not more likely to happen until regulation dictates it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #26
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...As much as it pains me to ask for more regulation, if anything good comes out of this, is.. a RV license like a sport pilot license. It would be required that you drive, back and show that you can inspect your rig prior to travel....
id support it too *IF* the state & fed didnt use it as a way to TAX us & miss you our MONEY....everything regulated by the government ends up SCREWED UP w/ MINIMAL (if ANY) benefit to the public !
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:12 PM   #27
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As far as I can tell there is no law in MN prohibiting riding people in any trailers. There used to be a law you could only put people in a 5th wheel. But I think now any trailer is legal. I think you need communication though, cell phones or walkie talkies.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:28 PM   #28
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Dragonslayer-I don't profess to be an expert but I have toured the truck conversion manufactures in Elkhart. Regardless of manufactures, the conversion is "framed" then inside is finished (usually through the slideout openings)
As far as welding the conversion to the cab, it wouldn't be the way I would have it done. I will have the cab and conversion connected with a bellow seal and that way the cab and conversion have a little give between the two components. (Ever see how much a class 8 can twist a frame?)
Conversions are typical mounted to the truck chassis with u-bolts or welded frame connectors so if the walls are welded to the floor, the whole structure should become a cage.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:44 AM   #29
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id support it too *IF* the state & fed didnt use it as a way to TAX us & miss you our MONEY....everything regulated by the government ends up SCREWED UP w/ MINIMAL (if ANY) benefit to the public !
Exactly what I was thinking. I was driving Eagles and MCIs before the CDL was instituted. The CDL was supposed to equalize and streamline. All it has done is raise cost and red tape.

It makes no sense that any idiot can get behind the wheel of a 37 foot A class (that is harder to keep on the road than a TC), but so many retired folks are the potential purchasers of RVs that required training won't happen.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:27 AM   #30
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I sure would like to find out who made that Kansas rv, and how it was made.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:17 AM   #31
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Gordy, at this time I can not speak to the truck conversions themselves, but have seen how many of the standard RV bodies are assembled, and a lot of them have their walls held together by lag screws and covered by corner trim. Interiors are set in as sub assemblies with the walls going in around them. I have worked as a volunteer firefighter and a heavy duty tow truck operator, and have dealt with the aftermath of several big RV accidents. Now that I work in Engineering and getting ready to swap my class C for a conversion, I am heading back east to tour at least four truck conversion factories in May so I can see first hand how each of them builds. One of the main things I am looking for is how they construct the box, both from a structural and an environmental point of view. I have concerns with both types of construction, FRP/Composite has great insulation and isolates sound well, but its Achilles heel is delamination if water ever gets in to the wall, along with how to connect the corners. Welded steel frames with the proper bracing are very strong, however the steel transfers heat through the wall without a proper thermal break. I am hoping to see that the conversion manufactures have each addressed these issues in their own ways. I would defiantly expect these rigs to be more solidly built than a production line consumer RV. I will be taking lots of notes, and post my comparisons when I get back.

I also agree with you that I would not want my cab mounted solid to the box either, to do so one would either have to lose the air bags under the cab, or find a way to support the entire box on air bags. The places I plan to go with my rig will involve off road, and every class 8 truck I have driven has had a lot of frame twist.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:05 PM   #32
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Dragonslayer-as I said I have been to Elkhart twice now. The manufacturers are good accommodating us future customers but I would suggest making appointments, not just showing up. Also, the frame shops and leveling companies are a worthwhile sidetrip if you are supplying your own chassis and need modifications.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:00 PM   #33
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As far as I can tell there is no law in MN prohibiting riding people in any trailers. There used to be a law you could only put people in a 5th wheel. But I think now any trailer is legal. I think you need communication though, cell phones or walkie talkies.
The requirement for communication between the trailer and the tractor is required. I learned this while traveling with an ARCA stock car team. That was a 5th wheel, full Class 8 with a 53' tractor trailer.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:28 PM   #34
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Default NTSB to look into RV crash in Kansas

Minneapolis Star Tribune

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Transportation Safety Board says it will review details of a motor home crash in Kansas that killed five family members from Minnesota.

The review will include looking into laws that allowed a 17-year-old to drive the 57,000-pound vehicle.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said Tuesday that the agency wants to determine whether the driver was "legally able to drive" such a large vehicle and whether the applicable laws and licensing requirements "could have played a role in this accident."

The crash happened Sunday as a large extended family and some friends returned from an annual motocross vacation in Texas. The vehicle broke through a guardrail on Interstate 35 in northeast Kansas and plunged into a ravine.

Five people were killed. Thirteen others, including the driver, were injured.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:54 PM   #35
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Default More pictures

5 killed, 13 injured after motor home crash on I-35 - KCTV 5

One of these pictures gives a good view of the construction. Doesn't look at all like steelframe construction.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #36
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5 killed, 13 injured after motor home crash on I-35 - KCTV 5

One of these pictures gives a good view of the construction. Doesn't look at all like steelframe construction.
DAMN IT ! May GOD be with them all !
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:06 AM   #37
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Gordy, thanks for your input and ideas, I have made contact with three manufactures in the Indiana area and with Hawk Engineering in Missouri. All have been very welcoming and I look forward to meeting with them. While I know what I want in a conversion, I am going in with open eyes to see what each has to offer. If you have any names for frame and leveling shops in that area that you think are worth a visit please forward them. Not sure if I will have much time to spare for extra visits but you never know. We have a lot of states to cover in a week lol.

Dave
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #38
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One thing for certain, every d.o.t. cop in the country is going to have an extra eyeball on TC's in the near future because of this, so make your you have your i's dotted out there right now.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:52 AM   #39
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i carry my "motorhome" title with me to avoid scales issues
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #40
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Even though hear in the "far north" we can operate an air brake equipped rv with a passenger car license with an "air brake endorsement" (which is 16 hours of schooling) I have a CDL so my family and I are safe. The course taught me the proper way to pretrip and inspect the vehicle. This happens way before getting in and starting the engine. Brake check is very important and my buddy who runs the NHRA circuit doesn't even know what a slack adjuster is, let alone how it should be adjusted-try stopping at the bottom of an 8% grade if the brakes were out of adjustment-see the run away lane?
Driving/operating everything safely, within my experience, should be the deciding factor, not a government's decision.
BTW my CDL cost me over $2500 to get and an extra $100 every 5 years at relicensing time. Oh yeah and every 2-5 years they throw a full medical at me too. Don't suggest that the doctor is free either-lol.
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